Dr Christian: What causes erectile dysfunction?

4th October 2019

Statistically speaking, men are only half as likely to visit their GP or regular doctor when compared to women. But men still suffer from a similar amount of problems. This difference in attendance is often due to embarrassment, ignoring symptoms, or waiting in the hope that the problem will go away.

One common issue that understandably causes men embarrassment is erectile dysfunction. Considering the fact that many men would describe their penis as one of their favourite features, it’s not surprising that they become concerned and embarrassed when it doesn’t work correctly. But erectile dysfunction is actually extremely common and can be caused by a number of different reasons.

It’s estimated that 10% of men suffer from erectile dysfunction for every decade of life. So by the time a man reaches his fifties, he has a 50% likelihood of suffering with the condition. Yet despite its prominence, men still shy away from talking about it or going to see a GP for advice or treatment. Aiming to break down the barriers and open the issue up for discussion, we talked to our favourite doctor, Dr Christian, about the causes of erectile dysfunction.

“Erectile dysfunction is extremely common and can be considered to either be physical, psychological or secondary. The most common causes of erectile dysfunction are physical, and these can include injuries (of the penis or spinal cord), diseases like Parkinson’s or MS, and lifestyle issues like obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

“The upside to erectile dysfunction caused by physical issues is that they’re often fairly easy to identify, and to treat. Erectile dysfunction caused by psychological issues can be a bit trickier to pinpoint, but can still be sorted out.

“It’s well known how interlinked our mental health and our physical health is, so it’s not surprising that mental problems or concerns can cause erectile dysfunction.

“As a society, we are putting more focus on encouraging men to discuss their mental health problems, which in turn could go some way to help treat erectile dysfunction caused by anxiety, depression or stress. It’s also really important for general wellbeing and happiness.”

While serious mental health issues can cause erectile dysfunction, it’s important to note that not all mental-related impotence symptoms are caused by serious issues. A number of more mundane problems can be a leading cause, such as going through a rocky patch in a relationship, dealing with guilt or struggling with low self-esteem or performance worries.

For anyone suffering from ED, you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of treatment options. We asked Dr Christian about where to start if you’re suffering from symptoms.

“The first thing you should do is consult a medical professional (whether that be a GP or a mental health specialist, if that’s what you’re thinking the cause is). Identifying the cause of your impotence will help to work out the best treatment option.

“Erectile dysfunction can often be caused by medications, smoking or drinking too much alcohol so it may be some lifestyle elements need to change too.

“If you have another health condition that is causing your ED, then it may be best to get that under control with effective treatments and you could notice that that sorts the erectile dysfunction too.

“For those whose ED is an isolated issue, there are plenty of effective medications available to treat the condition. Viagra (Sildenafil), Cialis (Tadalafil) and Levitra (Vardenafil) and are all popular, prescription-only medicines that are used to treat erectile dysfunction.”

 You can buy effective ED treatments from UK Meds, following an online consultation with a medical professional. Each medication works slightly differently and so it’s important to find the one that suits you, your body and your lifestyle the best.